Video: A Life Lesson Conveyed In Cutout Animation : All Songs Considered In a touching new video, singer-songwriter Grant Olney tells the story of a tiny owl ostracized by the other animals. The animated short follows the owl as it tries to find its own way in the world, with the help of a kind woman.
NPR logo First Watch: Grant Olney, 'Not From Body'

First Watch: Grant Olney, 'Not From Body'

When singer-songwriter Grant Olney started working on his latest album, Hypnosis For Happiness, he never imagined it'd take six years to finish. But after laying down the first tracks in 2006, Olney left for the U.K. and the Netherlands to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. After finishing a 300-page dissertation on something called "high dimensional geometry," Olney returned to music and found himself reflecting on identity, friendship and what it means to really know someone. It's a knotty mix of emotions and ideas he tackles in a touching new video for the song "Not From Body."

"'Not from Body' is a love song about the many ways we can know each other," Olney tells us via email. "About how even when we're isolated and far away from those we care about most, we can find comfort, companionship, and maybe even love, in the creative works of others. That's a freeing thought for me. It makes me worry less about a lot of things."

Director and animator Hlín Davíðsdóttir used paper cutouts to tell the story of a little owl ostracized by the other animals.

"My main focus was to tell the story of a character that, through a series of both sad and comical moments, finds his own path in life," Davíðsdóttir writes. "I felt the song was about trying not to worry about things that are out of our control and I wanted that feeling to come across in the video."

Grant Olney's new album, Hypnosis For Happiness, is out July 2.